When children are born their eyes often start a sort of greyish colour. The melanin in their eyes require light from the sun to really get thinks kicking off to reveal the true colour of their eyes. I know this now because I’ve looked it up, but when my boys were young I believed something a bit different. As their eyes changed colour to a nice deep brown just like mine I would say that my children loved me so much they willed their eyes brown like mine! Obviously it’s not quite how things work, but these deep brown eyes are a big giveaway that these boys are mine. It adds to a few other features that give away their family resemblance and that they ‘belong’ to me, their father.
Stephen had a few tell-tale signs that he belonged to his father in heaven. He ‘performed great wonders and signs among the people’ (v.8) and he spoke ‘the great wisdom that the Spirit gave’ (v.10) and as those in the Sanhedrin argued and condemned him everyone could notice something different about him, a family resemblance, ‘they saw that his face was like the face of an angel’ (v.15).
This verse reminds me of Moses return from time with God glowing, after all angelic beings hang out in heavenly realms with God and on their earthly escapades are noted to glow and shine, as one who has been in the face to face presence of God. It doesn’t say that Stephen was shiny but he must have been someone who spent time in the presence of God, in the word of God and with God’s people as he had been known as ‘a man full of God’s grace and power’ (v.8).
As we intentionally spend our life seeking and living in the presence of God it will have a great and noticeable impact on our lives. Just like for Stephen it was noticeable to others, through both his being and his actions, it can be for us also. This does not mean that we won't see opposition as we live our lives in this way, it definitely didn’t end that well for Stephen (spoiler alert), but what Stephen found was that with His God on display He could withstand anything (v.10).
Who do you want to be known for? Stephen spent his time in God’s word, presence and with His people and became clearly known as a witness for the one true God. Pursue a life today, and beyond, that focuses on these keys and become known as a person filled with God’s grace and power.